Thursday, November 16, 2017

17/11/2017: Fish production in Israel

by Harm Klein, Feed Consultant, Zemach, Netherlands

In Israel yearly approximately 20,000 tonnes of fish is produced, land-based and offshore; mainly seabass, carp and Tilapia

Because of the lack of fresh water, the production of fish per ha., water-area is the highest in the world. The veterinary quality control is on high level because of the intensive breeding chain. Zemach is the main producer of aquafeed in the country.

Zemach Feed Mill, in Israel, produces fish feed, animal feed and pet food with a no-nonsense attitude and an emphasis on serving clients, both in Israel and abroad. It is a good example of a plant that can produce both aquafeed and other kinds of animal feed, all with great success.

The plant is situated on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, at its southern point, where the lake flows into the Jordan River. About 20 years ago, 15 members of this co-operative asked Zemach to produce aquafeed, resulting in today’s modern plant.

During a visit to the aquafeed plant in the Galilee region in Israel, we met Mr Asher Braun, V.P. Nutrition and Mr Yizhaq Tal, V.P. Operations (see Braun and Tal). Both of who can boast vast experience in this market. The complete team of the fish feed department counts eight employees.

The Israeli market
In the early years of Zemach Feed Mill, circa. 1965, fish feed was not produced in the country at all. There were only imported products. Years later the members of the cooperative at Zemach were dissatisfied with the quality, price and availability of the imported products.

Zemach start producing pelleted fish feed and later on their fish feed line was built and the first extruded aquafeed was produced, just before this millennium. For several years, Zemach was the only producer in the country.

Nowadays, of the three local producers, Zemach is by far the biggest. Up to several years ago apart from the growers near Bet Shean 20 km away and those in the Northern coastal region, there was a large concentration of fish production in the Red Sea, close to Eilat.

However, intensive fish farming in this area caused damage to the coral and consequently the fish cages were moved to the harbour of Ashdod; open water connected to the Mediterranean Sea. Today, also in the Negev desert, as example an intensive farm produces 2.000 tons of seabream annually. Weekly several trucks are delivering the high quality feed.

Production quantities
Today, the production volume is under strain because of several threats: the dollar rate, the termination of import taxes on fresh and frozen fish and the stronger environmental regulations, none of which is beneficial for the market.

70 percent of the aquafeed is for local growers, the rest of the feed is exported to countries in Africa, South America and South East Asia. For export, the feed is packed in 15 and 25 kg bags, which are loaded in containers then the fish feed is transported over the world from Haifa port. Today, the pellets for floating, sinking and slow sinking purposes, are produced between 1.5 - 9mm; smaller sizes are produced using a crumbler.

Kinds of products
Aquafeed is produced for several kinds of sweet water fish: tilapia, carp, mullet, and trout, sturgeon. And for saltwater fish: seabream, seabass and black tiger shrimps. Extrusion and processing take place in a production facility that is completely separated from the feed mill. This ensures a hygienic surrounding without risk of contamination.

The production area of the fish feed is situated in a new extension of the animal feed plant. Zemach Feed Mill produces the feed under the quality systems HACCP, ISO 9001 and Global Gap in conjunction with the Ginnosar, Dor and Sea Agriculture Institute Research Stations. Quality analyses of raw materials and finished products are made in Israel and if desired abroad.

All products must pass physical tests; these are designed to examine the pellet strength, dust percentage and sweet/salty water tolerability. Production of pet food on the same production line was approved by Israeli Standards Institute and by the veterinary services of Israel, whilst Zemach ensures the separate identity of the products.

Due to extensive research and knowledge of Tilapia Zemach has quickly become an authority on this particular feed. Counselling is provided by the experts on a worldwide scale.

Read the full article, HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

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